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Best Time to Visit China

Traveling in the broad country, it’s hard to say when is the best time to visit China. With the variety of weather and climate, you may choose the comfortable weather in spring and autumn to go; Join in the crowds in high season or save money to travel in low seasons; if you are a Chinese culture fan, the local festivals, presenting the traditions shouldn’t be missed out. On the other hand, the best time to visit China depends on the places you go and other preferences.

In a nutshell, when and where you decide to visit China, it serves up a tasty smorgasbord of jaw-dropping attractions and makes you gladly to adventure each day.

Weather & Climate

With the wide-ranging weather of hot summer and cold winter, spring and autumn are the best seasons to visit China with mild climate and comfortable temperature throughout the country, especially the months of April, May, September and October. Decorated with spring flowers blossoming and golden autumn leaves falling, China seems more attractive with various amazing and picturesque scenic spots. However, before deciding when to go, you should check the China Weather to make a better preparation for the sudden change of weather.

High & Low Seasons

Normally, April to November is the high season, and November to next March is the low season. When traveling in high season, you can view the best China landscape of incredible nature and attractions with pleasant weather in most time. At the same time, you have to share with the noisy crowds and overcome the long queue, especially during the National Holidays. Comparing with the high season, the low season travel has undeniable advantages. With fewer crowds, you can spend less money to visit China’s many top attractions. Also the airline price, train tickets, accommodations are easier to manage.

Festival & Holidays

Holidays in China are commonly celebrated by travelling, since the “Golden Weeks” introduced in the 1990s to boost domestic tourism industry. Among the kinds of holidays of New Year's Day (Jan 1-3), Labor Day (May 1-3), National Day (Oct 1-7) and some traditional days, the National Holiday, really called golden weeks, is the most crowded with a sea of people along street, attractions.

Meanwhile, the traditional festivals are great carrier to suck up the time-honored culture and authentic customs. Travel with the right time to enjoy the local activities, including some featured ethnic festivals of Guizhou province. Check the table below to find when to go:

Festival Date Place
Harbin Ice Festival Jan. 5 to Feb. 5 Harbin city
Chinese New Year Jan.1-15 of lunar calendar (Feb. 8-22, 2016) All over China
Lusheng Festival The lunar Sept. 27 to Oct. 3 (Oct.27-Nov.2, 2016) Kaili in Guizhou
Sister’s Meals Festival The lunar March 15-17 (April 21-23, 2016) Kaili in Guizhou
Dragon Boat Festival The lunar May 5 (June 9, 2016) All over China
Mid-Autumn Festival The lunar August 15 (Sept. 15, 2016) All over China

Best Time to Visit China Different Regions

Due to the geography, China has different weather and climate in different regions, especially the north and south. Besides, the attractions have some difference with more historical and cultural sites in north and most natural spots in south regions, added on the Chinese long history, which give you a clue to choose best destinations to visit in the best time.

Northern China

Great Wall in Beijing

Featuring the cold winter, northern China area offers you the chance to experience the thick snow; spring is not suitable to embrace for the sandstorm occurred quite often; summer and autumn are the great times to visit.

Harbin: Dec. to Jan. is the best time to visit Harbin for the famous Harbin International Ice Art Festival;

Beijing: April to October is the best period to visit capital city with many World Cultural Heritage sites;

Xian: all seasons are suitable to travel to the ancient city to visit terracotta warriors and various museums;

Luoyang: spring is the best season to visit as the Luoyang Peony Festival hold in April and Longmen Grottoes is worth visiting for any time;

Pingyao: any time is great to go to see the Pingyao ancient city streets and city wall.

South Central China

 Longji Rice Terrace

With the hot summer and cold winter, south central China are has comfortable temperature in spring and autumn. With great natural scenery around, the best time to go is decided by the specific scenic spots.

Guilin: the karst landscape shows you the unique beauty of Guilin and suitable for any time visit, especially summer time to enjoy the Li River Cruise.

Zhangjiajie: summer in Zhangjiajie is quite cool, making it the best place to avoid summer heat. Also the magnificent stone pillars will feast your eyes in Zhangjiajie National Park; during the summer months, you can view the cloud and fog spectacle in Tianmen Mountain.

Hong Kong: the gateway city with mixed culture, present you traditional sites and modern entertainment for you to spend whole day in different seasons. Note: as for shopping, December is the selling season and excellent time to buy discounted brand goods.

Southeast China

Water town Travel

Located in the south of Yangtze River, Southeast China area is full of fine scenery with pleasant climate. You can enjoy the various numbers of exquisite gardens, picturesque water towns and villages. As the monsoon most gathers in summer, spring and autumn are the best time to go.

Shanghai: the modern city surrounded by towering skyscrapers, shanghai is suitable for any time visit;

Suzhou & Hangzhou: spring and autumn are the best times to visit and enjoy the paradise in heaven;

Huangshan: visit Mt. Huangshan in winter is the best time to see sea clouds, and other seasons are great to find its beauty. Note: the Xihai Grand Canyon and Tiangdu peak are closed from Dec. to next March.

Southwest China

Jiuzhaigou Valley

As the popular tourist area, southwest China varies kinds of attractions. From the national treasure of Giant Panda, the extraordinary sightseeing of Jiuzhaigou Valley to the ethnic land of Yunnan and Guizhou, this area will delight you with different sites for any time visit.

Chengdu: visit the land of abundance for any time of year, you can enjoy yourself by hanging out leisurely in downtown, visit Giant Panda, or travel nearby Leshan Giant Buddha and Mt. Emei;

Jiuzhaigou: autumn is the golden time to visit Jiuzhaigou and appreciate the fairy land with crystal blue lakes;

Kaili: being the minority area of Guizhou, the best time to visit is gathering in spring and autumn for most ethnic festivals hold;

Lijiang & Shangri-la: as the famous tourist cities of Yunnan, Lijiang and Shangri-la are suitable for four seasons to feel the different charm and minority culture.

Lhasa: with cool temperature and bright sunshine, summer is the best season to visit Lhasa holy land.

Travel Tips

(1) Avoiding China’s National Holiday

The hard-to-get train ticket, over-priced flight and short-supplied hotels all lead to the inconvenience during these times. If you have to travel these times, make all your reservations well in advance or join in the group tour will be much easier. And try to avoid the first two days and the last days, the busiest times for transportation system.

(2) Bring suitable clothing while travel different seasons

Spring: Western suits, jackets, sports coats, woolen jackets, long sleeve shirts and travel shoes.
Summer: T-shirts, short sleeve shirts, skirts, sandals, caps, rain wear.
Autumn: Western suits, jackets, sports coats, light woolen sweaters, rain wear and travel shoes.
Winter: overcoat, cotton clothes, lined coats. In very cold areas a cap, and cotton-padded shoes are required.

(3) Recommended tour itinerary for first-time travelers

Beijing, the capital city, is the best gateway for you to travel start and finish with. You could plan accordingly: if you’re arriving during the spring, start in the south (before the hot & sticky summers start up) and finish in Beijing. Or if you’re arriving in the autumn, start in Beijing - before the brunt of winter moves in - and make your way south.

(4) Travel note for some special regions of China

Tibet: with the high altitude, Tibet is a typical plateau with hug temperature gap in different areas, and April to October are the best months to visit with stunning nature and various local festivals, such as the Shoton Festival. Before you go, make a full preparation to handle altitude stress.

Yangtze River: running through many cities and left most highlights along the southern China, Yangtze River is best for cruise in spring and autumn. Also summer and winter are still attractive with different scenery. Besides, you can tour the cruise port cities, like Chongqing, Yichang and Shanghai without a detour. Check the best time to cruise for details.

Recommended Tours

Top 3 tours chosen by most customers to explore in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.

CD-BXS-08 8 Days Best of China Tour
8 Days Best of China Tour (Flight/Bullet Train Covered)

Beijing / Xian / Shanghai

Gorgeous Three Gorges Scenery
13 Days Classic China Vacation Tour with Yangtze Cruise

Beijing / Xian / Guilin / Yangshuo / Yangtze Cruise / Shanghai

Tibet Potala Palace Visit
15 Days China Tour with Tibet Discovery & Panda Visit

Shanghai / Guilin / Yangshuo / Guilin / Chengdu / Lhasa / Xian / Beijing

Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once enquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.

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Questions & Discussions

Following are latest questions and answers from our webusers and customers. You can learn many useful information from the discussion and cases. You can also join in the discussions or ask your own question. Our experts will help you ASAP.

What currency are your tours quoted in?
2018-08-04 13:31
Dear Maureen,

Thanks for your question. The price shown on our website is in USD (USA dollar). For more questions and tour booking, please feel free to let us know.

Have a great day!

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[Important] Travel News for Expats: China travel is reopening now! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & requirements for each destination! Read Details >